Generally speaking, Romeo and Juliet laws were developed to prevent or lessen prosecution of a young adult engaged in consensual sexual activity with a minor. For example, some Romeo and Juliet laws would prevent an year-old from being prosecuted for statutory rape for having consensual sex with a year-old. The age at which a person can legally consent to sexual activity in Michigan is 16 years old.
In Michigan, the age of consent is If accused, hire an experienced defense attorney in Michigan. That said, the term statutory rape is not strictly used in Michigan law although it survives as a colloquialism.
If certain aggravating factors were present—e. Yes, you can be found guilty of statutory rape even if the victim lied about her age. Under Michigan law, statutory rape is a strict liability crime.
Other states permit a reasonable-mistake-of-age defense to a charge of statutory rape. Michigan, unfortunately, does not. Inthe Michigan Supreme Court reconsidered whether to recognize a reasonable-mistake-of-age defense to statutory rape but ultimately left it a strict liability crime.
Still, a reasonable mistake is not worth nothing. Or it may prompt the prosecutor to resolve the case on favorable terms, leaving you with no jail time, no criminal record, and no sex offender registration.
But you might. Under MCL This is just common sense.
In fact, in cases involving near-age peers, it will often be possible to secure a deferral under the Holmes Youthful Trainee Act HYTAwhich leaves the client without a criminal record at all. Then you will have to register as a sex offender—for the rest of your life.
Often, clients run into problems showing that the sex was consensual. In a he-said-she-said situation like this, the judge will usually side with the victim and require you to register.
What kind of evidence? It depends on the case.
For example, in one case, the victim sent the client amorous postcoital text messages, which convincingly refuted her later claim that the sex was nonconsensual. In many cases, proving consent may require the client to successfully pass a polygraph examination.
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